DIPOLOG CITY is a 2nd class and capital city in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines. The place sits on the Western edge of Mindanao Island, at the Northwestern rim of the Zamboanga Peninsula, bounded by Dapitan City in the North, Municipality of Polanco in the East, Municipality of Katipunan on the South and Sulu Sea in the West side.
Dipolog is also known as “The Orchid City”. It is already a tradition in this place rgar in special occasion such as graduation, a bouquet or corsage of orchids usually offered or pinned on the breast of the person honored. The orchid is referred by the natives as “pangadlaw” which is white in color, symbolizing purity in heart in acknowledging success and achievement. The orchid then is a symbol of success and achievement that Dipolog is associated to. Be it in sports, academic, culture presentation and other competition, Dipolog has garnered several honors in the region and sometime in the national level.
A Spanish Recollect Missionary arrived in Tulwanan settlement which is now the area of Dipolog. The missionary asked a native he met as to where the “Capitan” or town head can be found, the native pointed to the west side and answered “Di…pag” meaning across the river. The missionary then proceeded across the river and upon reaching the town site; he named the place “Dipag”. However through the years due to various pronunciations, Dipag became DIPOLOG.
During the Spanish regime in 1834, the settlement is already governed by a Spanish Provincial Government of Misamis. Appointed “Capitan” who is the town executive together with a "Teniente" and "Aguacil" maintains law and order in the area. As time goes by, more and more Boholanos, Cebuanos and pioneers from Negros settlers came to stay in the town. In 1903, Dipolog and other neighboring township were separated and were annexed to the Provincia Mora which later became Zamboanga province under the decree approved by the President of the Second Philippine Commission, Judge William H. Taft. Then on March 4, 1904 an American Provincial Secretary delivered a written order converting Dipolog into Barangay of Dapitan to be represented by two councilors and two policemen to maintain peace and order. Residents disapprove of this move, thus protests were presented. A few years later, Dipolog regained back its township and a town hall was constructed after a few months.
On July 1, 1913, Dipolog townhood was formally announced from the balcony of the Town Hall. Then on June 6, 1952, a bill was passed and was later approved as Republic Act 711 creating Dipolog as the capital of Zamboanga Del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur with Pagadian as the capital town. It was only on June 1, 1970 when Dipolog officially became a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act 5520 signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Dipolog City has a total land area of 137 km² or 13,628 hectares, surrounded by hills to the south and the Pacific Ocean in the north. Dipolog is an agricultural community that comprises 9,093.99 hectares or 71.82% and 89.538 hectares of fishpond used for agricultural purposes. Other land use is based on residential which composed of 14.09% of the total land area, commercial, industrial, and use of institutional facilities. The city has an elevation of 2.5 meters above the sea level.
Currently the City has a population of 99,862 people in 20,461 households. The predominant language used is Cebuano by about 97.00% of the population.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The City is now is now one of the major options of local and foreign investors. Dipolog is abundant with economic and natural resources in terms of agriculture with fishpond areas and fishing grounds; fish production with approximately 56 fish species being produced, as well as livestock production such as carabao, cattle, horse, goat and pig.
Potential investment areas range from agri-based processing such as activated charcoal, dessicated coconut, broiler contract growing, livestock raising, cattle fattening; construction, furniture, marble, low-cost housing projects, feed mill; food processing or packaging such as meat and fish processing, mango processing and packaging.
Currently, the City has well-equipped telecommunication facilities, and several banking institutions. Investment capital is gained from retailing, services, manufacturing, trading, and wholesale sectors.
The City climate is mild and moderate with rainfall that is evenly distributed throughout the year. Dry season commence in the months of February to April, and wet season from months of June to January. Hottest month is April.
ARTS & CULTURE
Dipolog City celebrates the following festivities annually:
Adlaw sa Dipolog – This festivity is celebrated every 1st day of July. This is the founding anniversary of the City as a municipality in the year 1913. This celebration showcases cultural presentations, sports activities and pageantry.
City Fiesta – This religious activity, conducted every 4th Saturday of the month of May is a major church celebration in honor of St. Vincent Ferrer, Patron Saint of the Sick. Devotees and believers gather and dance in front of his statue (tudturudtud), offering their ailment or thanksgiving to him for healing or blessings received through his intercession.
Katkat sa Dipolog – This is celebrated during the Holy Week in which mountain climbing and trekking activity is being done. This activity lightens up the spirit of balanced exercise and nature tripping along the mountains of Cogon Eco-Tourism Park, Pamansalan Reforestation Site and Linabo Peak.
Katkat Sakripisyo – This is a sacrificial activity conducted every Good Friday in observance of the Holy Week and has drawn crowds especially the religious, contemplating and completing their sacrifice by climbing through the 3,003 steps to Linabo Peak at the height of 243 ft. above sea level and see the panoramic aerial view of Dipolog City.
Pagsalabuk Festival – This festival is celebrated every 1st week of July and highlights street dancing in Subanen costumes, trade fairs and cultural shows.
Pre-celebration of Adlaw sa Dipolog – This is celebrated every June 25 to 30 which is a week-long preparation for Adlaw sa Dipolog. Several activities are presented before the main event.
Sinulog sa Dipolog – This is a yearly gathering of devotees for Señor Sto. Niño. The celebration is highlighted by street dancing and offering activities.
Dipolog is known for its wild orchids, thus it is nicknamed the "Orchid City of the South"; as well as for its sardines industry such as the bottled Spanish Sardines.
Other local manufactured products are: Chorizo, kropek, sweet dilis, bags, novelty items, holiday decors, bamboo-based novelty items, marble tiles and slabs, rubber-based products, electronic parts, and pre-cast.
Dipolog is well known for its Spanish sardines, chorizo, kropek and sweet dilis making.
99.33% of the population are predominantly Christians or Roman Catholic members.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Dipolog City is subdivided into 21 communities:
3003 STEPS TO LINABO PEAK
This is Dipolog’s highest elevation point – 486 meters above sea level. It has a concrete step winding along a tunnel of verdant trees that leads to peak. Fourteen Stations of the Cross punctuate the way up. At the peak, one can find a community chapel for prayer and contemplation and is a favorite retreat during Lenten season.
DIPOLOG CITY HALL
The City Hall was constructed in 1913 and after 3 months Dipolog was formally declared a municipality and selected the first set of Municipality officials.
HOLY ROSARY CATHEDRAL
The Cathedral used to be a chapel, then in 1894 it was renovated and expanded, the altar was designed by Dr. Jose P. Rizal at the time that he was serving his tenure in lieu of his Dapitan exile.
This is a hectare sized lot beside the City Hall and fronting the Holy Rosary Cathedral, ideal for small outdoor meetings in a nature setting, strolling and relaxation.
PAMANSALAN – OISCA FOREST PARK
This park is a 64-hectare lush forest ideal for trekkers and nature buffs. The park is a joint project of the City Government of Dipolog and the OISCA (Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement) of Japan and features the Agro-Forestry Training Center, an Eco-Tech Secondary Education Building and a mini Research Center. Also found in the park is the famous Sungkilaw Falls.
The beach is a seven-kilometer stretch of fine gray sand and is situated four kilometers away from the city proper. This is a favorite hangout of foreign and local tourists during holidays and weekend.
STA. CRUZ MARKER
This place is said to be the exact spot where migrating Boholanos from the Visayas landed on and planted the Cross for Christianity on May 3, 1905.
This falls can be found inside the OISCA Forest Park.
The City is accessible by air thru Dipolog City Airport at Minaog which is 2.5 kilometers from the poblacion. Flight to Manila is six times a week provided by PAL's B-737. Flight to Cebu is trice weekly on a 19-seater air craft.
Dipolog City can easily be reached from any point in Mindanao by Land. Air conditioned buses make travel throughout the province comfortable.
The city is also accessible through Pulauan Port in Dapitan City, just 12 kilometers away from Dipolog City. Ferry trips are also available with daily trips to and from Dumaguete and Cebu cities.